A recent interview with a journalist brought more to light about the importance of body positivity and how to practice accepting and loving our bodies. Part of the work we do here is not about nutrition at all. It’s about helping people see themselves, first as they really are, in that moment, and helping to change their mindset on the way to advancing to a more whole life. What does this involve? It involves treating yourself kindly and learning to be your own best friend. It involves respecting yourself and your body – in self-talk, with exercise & sleep, and how you feed it.
Here are 10 tips to increase love for you body; perhaps it will provide an ‘aha’ moment for you too, or at least encourage you to take a small moment and express gratitude for your earthly body.
- You’re in good company if the first thing you do in the mornings is hurl an insult at yourself. Many clients have shared the thoughts that run through their heads and there’s a similar thread of “oh great, I have bags under my eyes,” “ugh, my thighs are so fat! How did I let this happen?! Okay, now I really need to buckle down with my diet this week.” What kind of tone does this set for the day and your week? One of disappointment, temporary resolve, and self-loathing. Solution: 2 put-ups for every put-down. Every time you have negative self-talk, you have to say two good things about your body or personality.
- Remember that your body is the temple of your spirit; your body is also like a fancy car. How would you treat such objects? Surely any dirt in a temple would be cleaned up; surely you’d not put 87-grade fuel into a Porsche, right? Perhaps consider how you could show your body respect and reverence.
- Focus on how you Feel in your body, not just your appearance.
- Ask yourself why you are grateful for your body today. Were you blessed with the ability to dance to music? What about the ability to walk (remembering that not everyone can)? Are you grateful for your curly hair? Can you be glad you have strong thighs, even if they aren’t the size you’d like? Do you appreciate the beauty your eyes feast upon everyday; or merely appreciate that you Can see?
- Clothe yourself comfortably and in a way that shows your self-respect. Wearing a giant tent of a t-shirt and stretchy gym pants can be part of a ‘depression uniform.’ By wearing a fashionable dress and highlighting your attractive features, you start feeling better about yourself…and that often leads to wanting to DO better for yourself (i.e. making a healthier choice)…which can lead to looking better.
- Treat your body like a baby. Honor your body’s needs and act accordingly. Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired. Don’t always push yourself so hard.
- Write a love note. You’ve likely done it for others; now it’s time to catalog some of those qualities you adore about yourself. Keep them handy for days when you’re feeling less-than-stellar.
- Forgive yourself everyday for one thing you didn’t do perfectly (i.e. eating a cookie or two, or a sleeve of them).
- Remember: hindsight is 20/20. When you’re 70 or 80, you’ll probably look at photos of yourself and think you were hot stuff. Why don’t we try on that perspective now?
- Besides your physical appearance, do you have certain attributes or character traits that you admire about yourself? Perhaps you make others laugh easily, are a great leader or writer, are an expert paddle-boarder or French cook. Sometimes appreciating the beauty inside helps us connect with it on the outside.
BONUS: Your body LOVES you. Every cell in your body is working to keep you alive and well. It’s your ally, not enemy. Why be at war with it?